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Identification and functional analysis of a pollen fertility-associated gene GhGLP4 of Gossypium hirsutum L.

Utilization of heterosis is an important way to increase cotton yield and improve fiber quality in hybrid cotton development programs. Male sterility is used in the development of cotton hybrids to reduce the cost of hybrid seed production by eliminating the process of emasculation. From the transcriptome analysis of genic male sterile mutant (ms1) and its background C312 of G. hirsutum, a gene encoding germin-like protein (GhGLP4) was found significantly down-regulated in different developmental stages of ms1 anthers. To explore the gene function in cotton fertility, GhGLP4 was further studied and interfered by virus-induced gene silencing.

Hongli ZhengRongjia Wang Qimeng Jiang Diandian ZhangRongrong MuYihan XuVitalis E. NnaemekaJun MeiYanyan ZhaoFangfang CaiDongliang YuYuqiang Sun & Liping Ke

Theoretical and Applied Genetics October 2021; vol. 134:3237–3247

Key message

Cotton male fertility-associated gene GhGLP4, encoding a germin-like protein, is essential for anthers development by keeping ROS homeostasis through reducing H2O2 level.

Abstract

Utilization of heterosis is an important way to increase cotton yield and improve fiber quality in hybrid cotton development programs. Male sterility is used in the development of cotton hybrids to reduce the cost of hybrid seed production by eliminating the process of emasculation. From the transcriptome analysis of genic male sterile mutant (ms1) and its background C312 of G. hirsutum, a gene encoding germin-like protein (GhGLP4) was found significantly down-regulated in different developmental stages of ms1 anthers. To explore the gene function in cotton fertility, GhGLP4 was further studied and interfered by virus-induced gene silencing. In the GhGLP4 interfered cotton lines, the expression level of GhGLP4 was significantly decreased in the stamens, and the down-regulation of GhGLP4 resulted in pollen sac closure, stigma exertion, filament shortening, decrease in the number of anthers and complete male sterility. The expression levels of respiratory burst oxidase homologs (Rboh, NADPH oxidase) were significantly altered. Further investigation showed that the SOD activity decreased while the H2O2 content increased in the atypical stamens. These results indicated that GhGLP4 gene affected the cotton anther development through maintenance of ROS homeostasis by H2O2 reduction.

 

See: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-021-03888-x

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